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I tried X Plane

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I tried the latest version of X-Plane and found that the best feature it offered me was the beautiful startup photo !The rest of it...................well maybe I best not comment.It remained on my computer for four days - Now I am back to real flight simulation with FS9 and FSX, FS9 being my preference.Best wishes to all who made up the ACEs team and THANK YOU ALL for giving me such enjoyment.regardsRichard

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I tried the latest version of X-Plane and found that the best feature it offered me was the beautiful startup photo !The rest of it...................well maybe I best not comment.It remained on my computer for four days - Now I am back to real flight simulation with FS9 and FSX, FS9 being my preference.Best wishes to all who made up the ACEs team and THANK YOU ALL for giving me such enjoyment.regardsRichard
Richard,I'm glad you recognize the differences and identify your preference as personal preference rather than matter of fact. I have had X-Plane from version 6 or so all the way through 9.22. It is different. The menus are not graphical, the key controls are different, but you can select more joystick/keyboard control option than most sets of flight controls can physically accommodate. The thing that amazes me is that on the main page you have to scroll the screen several times to read through all of the updates to systems failures that you can program into the aircraft, and the aerodynamic modeling continues to improve. We're talking about a minor release from 9.22 to 9.30 and these improvements are continuous. These are among a few things that keeps me buying X-Plane and downloading the free auto-updates. I just have to remind myself that they are different.I would say that FS9 and FSX simulates the ground environment in a more appealing fashion, but I cannot say that Flight is simulated better in the MS products. It is just my opinion from a few years of using both programs that X-Plane could potential incorporate AI flights, more involved ATC and with the improving scenery if the developers ever choose to and it would not have that far to go for me to be fully satisfied. But after a few hours of X-Plane 9 you get used to sloped runways and a few other aerodynamic modeling differences. I'm not arguing your point because if if X-Plane had the same appeal and same 3rd party addon development I would be completely an X-Plane flyer. Please let this not be the same as a thread I saw a few weeks ago where folks were arguing over whether MS Flight Sim was a game or not. It's what you need it to be for yourself. Have Fun and may the Flight be with you.Keith

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Richard,I would say that FS9 and FSX simulates the ground environment in a more appealing fashion, but I cannot say that Flight is simulated better in the MS products. It is just my opinion from a few years of using both programs that X-Plane could potential incorporate AI flights, more involved ATC and with the improving
See this. Start on page 3, about half way down. Geoff A. is just more diplomatic than myself. I tell them that X-Plane's flight dynamics are not up to MSFS standards, and I get deleted. Since I own X-Plane 8 & 9 in addition to FS9 and FSX, I'm just trying to be a bit helpful. Geoff owns and fly's a twin engine Baron, and I own and fly a Van's RV6A. And BTW, I use X-Plane for it's mountain topography, and not it's flight dynamics.http://forums.x-plane.org/index.php?showto...20&start=20L.Adamson

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However, I have to admit Larry Xplane is growing on me.What I find interesting is that I find the scenery, water, and autogen (when set at a reasonable level) much better than fsx.It is the much touted flight dynamics I have a problem with! :( Here is a shot I just took of my state of Michigan. I have to say-it does not look this well in fs. The trees blend in better, and the lakes with their reflections are great! Like real water they change color depending on the sky, time of day.I'm still working on getting a Baron-if I ever get one that is realistic I may ultimately become a convert-and if I don't that will be a big limiting factor.

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However, I have to admit Larry Xplane is growing on me.What I find interesting is that I find the scenery, water, and autogen (when set at a reasonable level) much better than fsx.It is the much touted flight dynamics I have a problem with! :( Here is a shot I just took of my state of Michigan. I have to say-it does not look this well in fs. The trees blend in better, and the lakes with their reflections are great! Like real water they change color depending on the sky, time of day.I'm still working on getting a Baron-if I ever get one that is realistic I may ultimately become a convert-and if I don't that will be a big limiting factor.
I like many scenery areas too. That's why I picked up version 9, after saying I probably wouldn't. But as you said, it's the highly publicized flight dynamics that are the problem. They just are not that good, and fall behind the standards of FS9/FSX addons by quite a measure. Months ago, I pointed this out at X-Plane org on the "other flight sims" forum. It was in regards to rudder and slips. I mentioned the RealAir SF260 & Spit as being good models in this regard. My post was replied to by a moderator, who said that the X-Plane 3rd party Spit was vastly superior in regards to flight dynamics, as he had tried the RealAir version, and then he locked the thread. I have the payware P-51 by the same author, and didn't feel that it's flight dynamics were anywhere close to the RealAir Spits. Needless to say, I didn't purchase the X-Plane Spit. However the model looks quite good. The panel also looks great, but the virtual cockpits are not up to MSFS standards. At least I've flown in a real P-51D (as a passenger), which gives me some insight on how the models should behave.That post, and the fact that I bought X-Plane 9 at Walmart ( version 8 from the org) hasn't put me on the org's top honor list. I tried to reply to the same post regarding --- X-Plane if you want to be real, and FSX as a game,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,that you did. Yet, my post was pre-checked by a moderator, and deleted as usual. Honestly.................if X-Plane want's converts, they will have to revise the flight modeling! At least you got some good dialog started.L.Adamson

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I read the entire thread referenced above.Declaring MSFS a game, just plain dumb.Stating that X-Plane has the best flight dynamics, flat out false.I find it truly ironic that one of the posts actually explains in detail exactly why there is so little 3rd party support for X-Plane.... yet they wonder why at the same time.

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However, I have to admit Larry Xplane is growing on me.What I find interesting is that I find the scenery, water, and autogen (when set at a reasonable level) much better than fsx.It is the much touted flight dynamics I have a problem with! :( Here is a shot I just took of my state of Michigan. I have to say-it does not look this well in fs. The trees blend in better, and the lakes with their reflections are great! Like real water they change color depending on the sky, time of day.I'm still working on getting a Baron-if I ever get one that is realistic I may ultimately become a convert-and if I don't that will be a big limiting factor.
Geofa,I do like the photo shot. I might see textures that might come close to this with GEX and UTX running in FSX. But as suggested earlier, topography is vital.

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It's interesting on here all the real world pilots think that the flight dynamics are abysmal, myself included. I've never felt a sim where I have felt so detached from the airplane. I don't know where anyone can think these flight dynamics are real. I wish that x-plane could have better flight dynamics and a realistic ATC system. I do like the sim for somethings like the endless amounts of customization but I wish it was in a more user friendly format.

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It's interesting on here all the real world pilots think that the flight dynamics are abysmal, myself included. I've never felt a sim where I have felt so detached from the airplane. I don't know where anyone can think these flight dynamics are real. I wish that x-plane could have better flight dynamics and a realistic ATC system. I do like the sim for somethings like the endless amounts of customization but I wish it was in a more user friendly format.
Great point on being detached from the airplane. I too can compare-contrast real world flying to the sims. I still haven't figured out why X-plane has the constantly replaying atc background noise. It is the most annoying aspect for me. But there is potential for change right? Let's hope. You have a good point about customization. When I was training to fly helos in the Navy we all had various setups at home. One of my friends couldn't understand why I didn't have X-Plane. She swore by it. This was back in 1999/2000. I still remember when I first demonstrated the variable sea state options you can select in X-Plane and tried to land on a moving ship that was pitching and rolling. I was impressed by that capability more than anything. Keith

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Does anyone know how large the download is ? I downloaded the demo installer but that will download a whole lot more. In our geography the word flatrate doesn't really exist for Internet traffic, so I'd prefer to know in advance.Cheers,Siggy

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It is the much touted flight dynamics I have a problem with! :(
The only recent serious attempt to compare the flight models of X-plane and FSX I'm aware of can be found here http://www.simpilotnet.com/index.php?optio...=view&id=20One should also read the subsequent discussion on the author's forum http://www.simpilotnet.com/index.php?optio...=18&catid=7The discussion got off to a good start, with both parties ("camps"?) making interesting remarks. But alas, as was to be expected, after a while the debate turned very nasty, and the moderator was forced to lock the thread. :( I really wish some simmers would replace their zealotry with maturity (both sides), and of course, I don't mean you Geoff, because your appreciations are always very well balanced. :(

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The only recent serious attempt to compare the flight models of X-plane and FSX I'm aware of can be found here http://www.simpilotnet.com/index.php?optio...=view&id=20One should also read the subsequent discussion on the author's forum http://www.simpilotnet.com/index.php?optio...=18&catid=7The discussion got off to a good start, with both parties ("camps"?) making interesting remarks. But alas, as was to be expected, after a while the debate turned very nasty, and the moderator was forced to lock the thread. :( I really wish some simmers would replace their zealotry with maturity (both sides), and of course, I don't mean you Geoff, because your appreciations are always very well balanced. :(
The only recent serious attempt to compare the flight models of X-plane and FSX I'm aware of can be found here http://www.simpilotnet.com/index.php?optio...=view&id=20One should also read the subsequent discussion on the author's forum http://www.simpilotnet.com/index.php?optio...=18&catid=7The discussion got off to a good start, with both parties ("camps"?) making interesting remarks. But alas, as was to be expected, after a while the debate turned very nasty, and the moderator was forced to lock the thread. :( I really wish some simmers would replace their zealotry with maturity (both sides), and of course, I don't mean you Geoff, because your appreciations are always very well balanced. B)
I've seen it argued that X-Plane's approach of reading in the geometric shape of any aircraft and then figuring out how that aircraft will fly gives more realistic flight dynamics than flight Simulator's approach of using look-up tables. This is not necessarily so. What matters is how accurately the forces and moments on an aircraft can be estimated.X-plane uses blade element theory, which involves breaking the aircraft down into many small elements and then finding the forces on each little element. This can only give an approximation to the forces because blade element theory itself is an approximation.The values in Flight Simulator's look-up tables can be calculated using a wider range of theories, and can also use experimental results. X-plane's blade element theory could be used to calculate the values in the look-up tables, in which case the flight dynamics should be essentially the same.There an area where X-Plane's modelling is weak."Compressible flow effects are considered using Prandtl-Glauert, but transonic effects are not simulated other than an empirical mach-divergent drag increase."http://www.x-plane.com/about.htmlPrandtl-Glauert states that the pressure coefficients vary with Mach number according to 1/SQRT(1 - M^2). It isn't valid between M= 0.7 and M=1.3 because it gives an infinite value at M = 1.0. That is the reason why "transonic effects are not simulated other than an empirical mach-divergent drag increase." Look-up tables can avoid this.X-plane's approach seems to make it easier to relate an aircraft's flight dynamics to its geometry than does Flight Simulator's separation of the flight and visual models. However, I suspect whichever approach is adopted, achieving really good flight dynamics will involve tweaking.

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However, I suspect whichever approach is adopted, achieving really good flight dynamics will involve tweaking.
My feelings exactly. Also, at this moment in time, the best "tweakers" are in all probability in the MS FS camp. I can understand why some are irritated by the "X-plane has the most realistic flight model available for personal computers" marketing hype, but unequivocally rejecting a theory because of the failures of its practitioners doesn't seem entirely correct to me.

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" I still haven't figured out why X-plane has the constantly replaying atc background noise. It is the most annoying aspect for me. "You can turn off the background atc in the sound menu-1st thing I did.

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My feelings exactly. Also, at this moment in time, the best "tweakers" are in all probability in the MS FS camp. I can understand why some are irritated by the "X-plane has the most realistic flight model available for personal computers" marketing hype, but unequivocally rejecting a theory because of the failures of its practitioners doesn't seem entirely correct to me.
I don't reject the theory at all. I just know that the program isn't powerful enough to adjust for so many variables. In the end, it has to "tweaked".For instance, the included RV's with version 9 balloon up excessively, like a Cessna with flap extension. The real RV's all pitch down with flaps. This is a case for tweaking, and an example of where "blade element theory" isn't really doing it's thing............so to speak.L.Adamson

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For instance, the included RV's with version 9 balloon up excessively, like a Cessna with flap extension. The real RV's all pitch down with flaps. This is a case for tweaking, and an example of where "blade element theory" isn't really doing it's thing............so to speak.L.Adamson
It is funny in a way. Usually, a poor craftsman blames his tools. In this instance, we have poor craftsmen who are convinced they can't go wrong because they're using a tool that supposedly is incapable of manufacturing bad products.

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"For instance, the included RV's with version 9 balloon up excessively, like a Cessna with flap extension. The real RV's all pitch down with flaps. This is a case for tweaking, and an example of where "blade element theory" isn't really doing it's thing............so to speak."L.AdamsonThe Baron does the ballooning flaps thing too. Also the over exaggerated reaction to control inputs with lack of any momentum and of course for ifr flying a lack of doing things by the numbers.It would be great if these things could be addressed,improved. Even though the look of the cockpits -especially 3d is behind fs at this point, I'd probably convert if the actual flying part could be more real. There are lots to like in the sim, and actually quite a lot that is superior to fs.A big one for me is with prop changes the sound changes! It added a lot to my reality or even flight model to hear the throbbing on the twin, and actually be able to sync the engines by sound! Chock one up here to xplane!

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"For instance, the included RV's with version 9 balloon up excessively, like a Cessna with flap extension. The real RV's all pitch down with flaps. This is a case for tweaking, and an example of where "blade element theory" isn't really doing it's thing............so to speak."L.AdamsonThe Baron does the ballooning flaps thing too. Also the over exaggerated reaction to control inputs with lack of any momentum and of course for ifr flying a lack of doing things by the numbers.It would be great if these things could be addressed,improved. Even though the look of the cockpits -especially 3d is behind fs at this point, I'd probably convert if the actual flying part could be more real. There are lots to like in the sim, and actually quite a lot that is superior to fs.A big one for me is with prop changes the sound changes! It added a lot to my reality or even flight model to hear the throbbing on the twin, and actually be able to sync the engines by sound! Chock one up here to xplane!
Geofa,I just wanted say that I have enjoyed reading your comparisons of X-Plane and FS on the posts here and the X-plane forum. Thank you for taking the time to put out these mini reviews. This type of factual and unbiased feedback is what I feel should be provided to encourage X-plane to improve. In a few years, x-plane may be our only option. If its not, the competition will be good for everyone.Ted

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My feelings exactly. Also, at this moment in time, the best "tweakers" are in all probability in the MS FS camp. I can understand why some are irritated by the "X-plane has the most realistic flight model available for personal computers" marketing hype, but unequivocally rejecting a theory because of the failures of its practitioners doesn't seem entirely correct to me.
I'm not rejecting anything. I am merely pointing out that the X-Plane modelling of flight dynamics is not necessarily better than Flight Simulator's.

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I'm not rejecting anything. I am merely pointing out that the X-Plane modelling of flight dynamics is not necessarily better than Flight Simulator's.
Hi mgh, slight misunderstanding. :( I confess I had L. Adamson aka Larry in mind when I wrote that. :(

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I've been looking at X-Plane myself for the last year or so. It's a possibility that it could evolve into a good sim, but for now, there are key issues:1. Scenery. Of course they have nice terrain, better than MS FS, but go figure, it's 60 GB and 5 DVDs worth! And all of this data still gives you airports with no buildings? Come on now! As much as I love the mountains, I also love landing at airports, not paved fields. 2. 2D panels...I think there's only one 2D panel available, and you can "Scroll" through it? I love the pop-up panels much more...3. Interface....Very unintuitive. I still can't get my HAT to work properly, and views system is way too confusing for me...I expect a function called "Look Left" (or similar) to rotate the camera when in external view, not transfer me back into the cockpit, looking out of the left window. Overall, the interface is something pro-oriented...not too cool for an average consumer. 4. There's nothing to do in X-Plane. You open it up, you're sitting on a runway and that's it. At least FS had some lessons, info, missions to get you started! Myself, I'm an IFR/Operations oriented guy, and there's absolutely nothing for me to do in X-Plane in this regard. Nowhere to fly, no adequae aircraft (Hey, at least I was able to learn the basics using FS defaul 737 back in the day - it was sufficient). The default jets are a joke in X-plane. Overall, I think X-Plane is more of a "Fly Around" kind of a sim, targeted to give a good "feel of flight". But as far as anything serious goes....I don't think I could even tune-and-identify an ADF...That being said, all of the above can be fixed. The question is whether or not X-Plane developers will go down that route, and if they will, it will still take them well...at least two years to pull it off. Until then, FS9!

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However, I have to admit Larry Xplane is growing on me.What I find interesting is that I find the scenery, water, and autogen (when set at a reasonable level) much better than fsx.It is the much touted flight dynamics I have a problem with! :( Here is a shot I just took of my state of Michigan. I have to say-it does not look this well in fs. The trees blend in better, and the lakes with their reflections are great! Like real water they change color depending on the sky, time of day.I'm still working on getting a Baron-if I ever get one that is realistic I may ultimately become a convert-and if I don't that will be a big limiting factor.
Geoff,you might want to look at this as well: http://www.fsimp.com/I've been trying it with FlightScenery

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1. Scenery. Of course they have nice terrain, better than MS FS, but go figure, it's 60 GB and 5 DVDs worth!
I don't think 60GB are a problem with today HD storage size.
And all of this data still gives you airports with no buildings? Come on now! As much as I love the mountains, I also love landing at airports, not paved fields.
True, a long time complaint by X-Plane users. Fortunately, seems like this issue is finally gonna be tackled: developers are thinking of creating a common database for airport scenery, so that every user can add buildings and share it with everyone (the database would be redistributed with X-Plane). Read this: http://xplanescenery.blogspot.com/2009/02/...looking-at.html
2. 2D panels...I think there's only one 2D panel available, and you can "Scroll" through it? I love the pop-up panels much more...
Pop-up panels can be implemented via plugins. At the moment the only aircraft that uses them (I think) is this: http://www.eadt.eu/
3. I still can't get my HAT to work properly, and views system is way too confusing for me...I expect a function called "Look Left" (or similar) to rotate the camera when in external view, not transfer me back into the cockpit, looking out of the left window.
X-Plane calls the HAT functions you're looking for: "Pan Left", "Pan Right", "Pan Up", "Pan Down".
4. There's nothing to do in X-Plane. You open it up, you're sitting on a runway and that's it. At least FS had some lessons, info, missions to get you started! Myself, I'm an IFR/Operations oriented guy, and there's absolutely nothing for me to do in X-Plane in this regard. Nowhere to fly, no adequae aircraft (Hey, at least I was able to learn the basics using FS defaul 737 back in the day - it was sufficient). The default jets are a joke in X-plane.
Well, there are no missions in FS9 as well!I agree on the fact that X-Plane is missing complex aircrafts. I hope some 3rd party MSFS developers will try their hands on X-Plane.
That being said, all of the above can be fixed. The question is whether or not X-Plane developers will go down that route, and if they will, it will still take them well...at least two years to pull it off. Until then, FS9!
Agree, maybe even 3 or more years. Also, Austin will need to change the update strategy, concentrating all the modifications that break compatibility (e.g. changes to the flight model) to major versions, and leaving only minor improvements (eye candy, scenery, etc.) to the frequent intra-version updates.Marco

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Geoff,you might want to look at this as well: http://www.fsimp.com/I've been trying it with FlightScenery’s FlightZone 02 KPDX and it was quite working right! I'm wondering with other popular "detailed" FS9 airports!!
Thanks Jean Luc-Already checked it out with some mixed results.By the way-one of my complaints about non resized panels for higher resolutions and fuzzy instruments in higher resolutions has already been addressed in the new beta-so it seems there is some good listening going on.Waiting impatiently for a certain add in..... :(Ted-Thanks for the nice comments. When I get my panel done I will post some compares on the screenshot forum-the results may be surprising.

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Out of curiosity, I've been putzing around a bit with X-Plane v9 demo. Compared to my last experience with X-Plane (a few years ago), I am actually pretty impressed.Althougth it doesn't quite match FSX in the looks department, there's quite a bit in terms of environment depiction which exceeds FSX. The water colors and reflections look very good, although I understand you won't get regional water color variations. Cloud shadows are great. Little things like sun glare look good. The terrain looks pretty good. The forest autogen is comparable to FSX, though the city autogen is not up to par. Runway lighting looks very good. The runways hug the terrain which looks great (and is reflected in the ground manuevering of the aircraft). The aircraft landing lights actually illuminate the runway!The sim has an overall dark color palette which feels a bit muddy at first glance. I often find FSX too bright and colorful, though maybe something in between would be best.Of course, the problem with the demo is in the air. The default C172 is jittery. Any joystick movement sends it careening around without any apparent allowances for the resistance of air or intertia. It's impossible to evaluate the sim without a stable, realistic aircraft, which (to my understanding) is not available in the demo.I like the complex menus and all of the configuration and view options. For some, it might feel cumbersome and overwhelming.There's some potential that in a few years X-Plane will be the only game in town. I am certainly not going to dismiss it out-of-hand. It shows a lot of promise. I think that they absolutely need a demo which has a quality, stable aircraft from a third party--something which is representative of what you can get via downloads. As it is, I'm not quite willing to plunk down my money based on the demo experience.The success of X-Plane (for me) will also be dependent upon the availabity of terrain add-ons which are at the level of FTX or similiar. It's hard to go back to cookie-cutter terrain after using FTX (in Australia) and TileProxy (in the US). But, it seems like there is a solid foundation here. Flight modeling is key, and hopefully a future demo will do a better job of reinforcing that aspect.

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